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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Harman Multimedia Announces Encounter, Duet Speaker Systems
12:50 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Harman Multimedia introduced three new desktop speaker systems at MacWorld CreativePro Expo. The JBL Encounter 5.1 is Harman Multimedia's first 5.1 system which features five 50-watt satellites and a 200-watt subwoofer, for a whopping 450-watts of power. The center channel has an innovative free-standing or clip-on design for easy mounting on laptops, flat panel monitors, or traditional CRTs. Following their tradition of unique and eye-catching designs, Harman Multimedia has crafted the JBL Encounter to match Apple's latest laptops and desktops. Also making it's debut today is the JBL Encounter 2.1. It delivers the same innovative technologies and appearance, but in a two speaker, one subwoofer configuration.

Harman's JBL Duet is a two-channel audio system aimed at portable music players and casual computer users. Each satellite has six-watts of power and comes in either white or silver color schemes.

The JBL Encounter 5.1 will ship in November 2003 and retails for $400, while the 2.1 system will cost $300 and ship one month later. The JBL Duet will be available in August for a suggested retail price of $70.

JBL Encounter
JBL Duet
Harman Multimedia
MacWorld CreativePro 2003

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Blizzard Releases WC3 1.11 Patches
12:33 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released updates for two of their popular games, Warcraft III: The Reign of Chaos and its recently released expansion set Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Both patches, titled 1.11, include the same list of changes:

  • Classic Campaign unit damage has been adjusted to match 1.01 values.
  • Some custom maps would crash because they had pre-1.10 data
  • embedded in them.
  • Czech-only: fixed a crash with the display news items.
  • Fixed a number of text strings within our localized versions.
  • Fixed a number of hotkeys within our localized versions.
  • The patches can be obtained either from a standalone download, or by connecting to Blizzard's online gaming service from within the game. If you decided to download the standalone versions, you will need to choose the correct one from the links below, dependent upon if the expansion set has been installed on your computer.

    Download Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne 1.11 Patch
    Download Warcraft III 1.11 Patch
    WC3 1.11 Patch Information
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III

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    New SOF 2 Multiplayer Patch Released
    12:30 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    MacPlay has released a small, multiplayer-exclusive patch for their popular first person shooter Soldier of Fortune II. The patch fixes a problem with users trying to connect to servers using the popular OSP mod and associated maps. Here's the official list of changes from our sister site, Macgamefiles:

    On July 16th MacPlay released a multiplayer only patch. This patch fixes the 'osp' mod. It will allow Mac users to join servers hosting games using the 'osp' based mods and maps.
    You can download the free patch from the link attached to the bottom of this article.

    Download Soldier of Fortune II 1.03 Multiplayer Patch
    SoF II
    Buy SoF II

    Click to enlarge
    ATI Introduces the Radeon 9800 Pro
    9:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    ATI today officially annnounced the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition, a high-end graphics card aimed at gamers and users of 3D animation programs. The 9800 Pro features an impressive eight parallel rendering pipelines, 256-bit memory interface and 128MB of DDR memory.

    Here's more from the official press release:

    ATI Technologies Inc today introduced the RADEON(tm) 9800 PRO Mac Edition, offering an entirely new level of visual realism and performance for games and 3D animation to users of Apple's Power Mac desktop systems. Also, heralding a new era of cinematic-quality 3D graphics for Mac OS X, the RADEON 9800 PRO visual processing unit (VPU) will be available as a build-to-order option on the Power Mac G5, while the RADEON(tm) 9600 PRO will be included in Apple's highest-end Power Mac G5 desktop.

    The RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition delivers all the performance and power of the RADEON(tm) 9800 PRO with the added feature of VERSAVISION(tm) display rotation, the new versatile dual display available in landscape or portrait configurations. With eight parallel rendering pipelines, industry leading 256-bit memory interface and 128MB of double data rate (DDR) memory, the RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition is capable of executing up to 8.4 billion instructions per second and delivering an astounding 21 GB/sec memory bandwidth. The graphics board's display flexibility supports multiple displays through its VGA, DVI and s-video outputs.

    "Graphics have always been central to Macs. Whether for gaming or 3D animation, the RADEON 9800 PRO Mac Edition is the perfect graphics solution," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "With full OpenGL support and full-floating point architecture, Mac users will now experience the stunning visual quality and the unbeatable performance of the world's leading VPUs."

    Mac users will also be able to find ATI's graphics power in the recently announced Power Mac G5. Apple has selected the award-winning RADEON 9800 PRO and RADEON 9600 PRO visual processors to drive the next generation graphics in their performance-driven Power Mac G5 desktop computers. The powerful RADEON 9600 PRO AGP 8X graphics card will be a standard component of the Power Mac G5 high performance configuration and the RADEON 9800 PRO will be an option for all new Power Mac G5s.

    "The new Power Mac G5, the world's fastest personal computer, was designed to make a giant leap in system performance. We chose the ATI RADEON 9600 PRO and RADEON 9800 PRO graphics cards to deliver a similar leap in 3D graphics performance," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. "Whether the customer is a scientist, graphics artist, filmmaker, game designer, or hardcore gamer, they will be blown away by the stunning 3D performance of these systems."

    The RADEON 9800 PRO graphics card was specifically designed to accommodate the special USB, power routing and dual flat panel display requirements of the new Power Mac G5 systems, including ADC and DVI connectors. The new Power Mac features an enhanced AGP PRO slot with full AGP 8X support, eliminating the need for an additional power supply for the graphics card.

    The Radeon 9800 Pro card is being shown for the first time at Macworld Creative Pro in New York this week. ATI's booth is located at #548. The company did not comment specifically on the release of the retail version of the 9800 Pro card, but in an interview with ATI earlier this month, ATI's Bruno Fernandes said the card would be available in August. We'll be sure to keep you posted on any further developments.


    Click to enlarge
    Apple Posts America's Army Trailer
    8:03 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Those anticipating the release of America's Army: Operations, the upcoming and free tactical shooter from the US Army, may want to check out a new trailer posted at the Gaming section of, highlighting the game's various gameplay elements.

    To check out the trailer for yourself, follow the link below. The movie is available in two resolutions, 320X240 for QuickTime Pro users, and 240X180 for others. America's Army: Operations, is expected to launch for Mac very soon. Until then, check out the official website and our exclusive preview for more details.

    America's Army: Operations Trailer at
    IMG Preview: America's Army: Operations
    America's Army: Special Forces 2.4
    U.S Army

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    XSquawkBox Accepting Beta Applications
    8:03 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Fans of the flight simulator X-Plane may be interested in an upcoming add-on. Titled XSquawkBox, this plugin will allow X-Plane players to fly on a global simulation network with other users as well as receive air traffic control communications.

    A list of XSquawkBox's features are as follows:

    • Fly on a global network with other X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Sim users.
    • Receive real air traffic control instructions.
    • Weather automatically downloads from the server to match real-world conditions.
    • See many other planes out the window and via TCAS.
    • Talk to air traffic control with live voice-over-IP audio technology.
    Created by Chris Serio and Ben Supnik, XSquawkBox is currently undergoing private beta testing. Those interested in helping with the test can sign up at the official site.

    Laminar Research
    X-Plane 7
    Buy X-Plane 7

    Click to enlarge
    SoF2 Key Warning
    8:03 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Ken Hoekstra, Project Administrator at Raven Software has issued a warning to those who own a copy of the company's popular first person shooter Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix. A man by the name of "John Novak" has been reportedly emailing users from a hotmail account, claiming to be an employee of Raven Software requesting CD keys for official validation. The email is a scam, and users are warned not to share their CD key with anyone, regardless. Here's the official announcement:

    Monday, July 14th, 2003 - Just a warning about a SOF2 CD Key scam that's going on right now... Some guy calling himself "John Novak" is e-mailing people from a hotmail account and claiming to be from Raven Software. He's claiming that we (Raven) are gathering defective keys for replacement and asking that you e-mail him your CD Key.

    DON'T FALL FOR THIS SCAM! In fact, DON'T SHARE YOUR CD KEY WITH ANYONE! No one from Raven will ever contact you and ask you for your CD key. If we do, it's only if you contact us first through our website with a tech support request.
    Hoekstra also issues another related warning to those who might be purchasing a copy of Soldier of Fortune II on auction sites such as eBay. Many users have reported that sellers have sold physical copies of the game, but have kept the CD keys to continue playing. Unfortunately, Raven cannot supply new CD keys for used games.
    Another thing to beware of, if you're not already aware of this, is to watch out for buying used games on Ebay (or anywhere else for that matter) that require CD keys. I've seen many people sell their game who continue using the key after the sale. This causes no end of trouble for the buyer and unfortunately we can't issue new keys for used games. Buyer beware...
    Be sure to keep a look out for any suspicious emails. Happy gaming.

    SOF2 Key Warning
    SoF II
    Raven Software
    Buy SoF II

    Click to enlarge
    More Hands-on Halo at GameSpot
    8:03 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Gaming publication GameSpot recently received the opportunity to check out a latest build of Halo for PC, and has recorded their findings in a new preview article, now available on their website. The hands on preview covers both singleplayer and multiplayer modes, including what new features and changes are in store from the previously released Xbox version. Here's a sneak peak:

    The two maps we did play were called Timberlands and Death Island. The former consists of a forested area with multiple hills and ridges, as well as several pathways from one side to the other. Small, two-level bases are located on opposite sides of the map, with flags on the lower level of each base. A small stream runs from one base to the other, marking a straight-shot path between the bases. You can choose to take a center route to go from one side to the other, but in doing so you miss out on many attractive weapons and other pickups available from the perimeter of the map. Rocket warthogs, ghosts, and scorpion tanks are plentiful on the level, but the narrow pathways and rolling terrain also give a good advantage to crafty infantry armed with rocket launchers or fuel rod cannons. We were given quite a rude welcome to the level when one of the Microsoft representatives immediately drove a scorpion tank to the front of our base, parked it near the spawn point, and repeatedly took us down as we respawned. Since there weren't any heavy weapons available in the base, it took a concerted team effort to get rid of the invader.
    Be sure to check out the full preview for more. Halo is currently slated for a PC release this September, with a Mac version following close behind. If you would like to reserve a copy of Halo for Mac, you can do so at our Inside Mac Games store. Subscribers to our Mac Games CD or IMG Pro services can pre-order the game for just $43.99, while regular customers can pick it up for $48.99.

    Halo Preview at GameSpot
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 15, 2003

    IMG Posts Billy Frontier Interview1:23 PM
    Special Sale at Freeverse Online Store12:49 PM
    DOOM 3 Q&A Transcription12:45 PM
    First Star Online for Mac OS X Released7:34 AM
    Freeverse Hosting Burning Monkey Happy Hour7:34 AM
    Help Name the Next Green Dragon Title7:34 AM
    IGN PC Posts Hands-On with Halo7:34 AM
    IGN Posts UT2003 Mod Roundup7:34 AM
    Lineage II Interview at GameSpot7:34 AM
    Myth II, III Beta Updates7:34 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 15, 2003 on one page

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